AirAsia budget carrier to start routes


AirAsia Japan Co., a budget airline owned partially by All Nippon Airways Co., said Thursday it plans to begin flights next August on three domestic routes from Narita airport, and two international routes to South Korea next October.

“We look forward to expanding our network to serve more guests in due course,” AirAsia Japan President Kazuyuki Iwakata said in a statement after the low-cost carrier applied to the transport ministry for an air operator business license.

Using Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture as its home base, the carrier said it plans to fly Airbus A320s to Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa, as well as to South Korea’s Incheon and Busan.

AirAsia Japan is a joint venture between ANA and Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd.

In July, Peach Aviation Ltd., another ANA-affiliated budget airline based at Kansai airport, was granted a business license and will begin flying Osaka to Fukuoka and Osaka to Sapporo routes in March 2012, and from Osaka to Incheon near Seoul in May.